Just five minutes of walking from the walls of Villefranche-de-Conflent is one of the most impressive cave complexes I have ever seen. Grotte des Grandes Canalettes is a series of caves full of fantastic calcium and stone formations, with thousands of stalactites and stalagmites reaching for each other from above and below. There is a beautiful underground lake and a couple of chambers so grand as to be utterly breathtaking.
The place is nicely set up for visiting, with a lot of colorful lighting. In the largest chamber, the voice of Andrea Bocelli and a couple of other classical singers adds to the ambiance. The audio loop has only 3 numbers, probably to help usher along anyone who would like to linger for too long, but the dramatic effect of hearing divine music and voices in a divine setting is literally mesmerizing.
Unfortunately, this beauty does not easily lend to walkabout handheld photography. Either that, or your reporter simply sucks at this. None of the close-ups came out any good, while the wider shots did not achieve much separation of foreground from background and fail to relay the magnificence of the place.